We rely on your reports of any natural or wildlife related items of interest.
Please pass your reports to Iain, Jock or John. See our Contacts page for details
.

Latest News

Our book marking the 50th anniversary of the club is still available from A.M.Grieves, Newsagents, High Street, Moffat. Alternatively you can order by post and for this you should contact Iain directly for an order form and pricing information. We also have souvenir button badges (50p each) and car window stickers (£1.50 each) showing the new club logo. These are only available from A.M.Grieves and, again, mail order can be accommodated if you contact Iain.

If you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome) you can now download an application form from here. The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily viewable. The forms will also be available per the usual outlets.

We have posted a warning regarding a serious computer risk. It can be found in the 2013 archive or by clicking on this link (computer risk).

13th April 2014
Late March/early April update from Iain -
On the 22nd at the Reserve were 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese flew over and a mixed flock of 3-400 Fieldfare and Redwing were around. While at Bankend Wood on the 24th Dave Bradshaw saw a Grey Wagtail and Garry Tait had a Peacock butterfly round Toot. Two days later an impressive flock of 56 Whooper Swans were on the lochan at the Community Reserve with 2 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe. Four Common Gull were at the Reserve with a male Sparrowhawk and a few Meadow Pipits passing over. While walking beside the River Annan at Brydekirk on the 28th Anne and Howard Gibbard saw some Sand Martins and an Otter. On the 30th I had a reliable report of two Green Woodpeckers visiting a garden near Craigielands at Beattock while a pair of Reed Buntings were at another garden at Meadowbank Rise. On April 2nd a Sand Martin appeared at the Reserve with 2 Chiffchaff calling. Many Pinkfeet moving over and plenty Fieldfare and Redwing in the area too. At the Community Reserve on the 4th were 4 Shoveler and the first Osprey arrived back up Moffat Water. Scott and Janet Little saw the first Swallow along the cycle track at Beattock on the 8th. The following day at the Reserve were 2 Sand Martins and 7 Canada Geese and a Cormorant flew over with 3 Chiffchaff calling. I saw an Osprey near Crawford on the 10th and on Saturday 12th at the Reserve there were 5 Sand Martin, 4 Swallows moving through and still Chiffchaff but no Willow Warblers yet. The Canada Goose is sitting tight on her nest at our reserve and the Oystercatchers are still showing interest in the new gravel island. A ringed Lesser Redpoll was in a garden at Meadowbank Rise among a small flock of 4 Lesser Redpoll and many Siskins.

This will be the last update for two weeks - John off to Italy again - so just a reminder that our Coffee Morning is on Saturday, 3rd May at 10.30am. We greatly value your support so please come along and bring plenty of cash to spend!

5th April 2014
Spring migration is well under way. Whooper Swans passing through, various geese heading north, the first Sandmartins have arrived, Chiffchaffs heard calling, etc. A pair of Canada Geese seem to be taking up residence on one of our islands, Oystercatchers are frequently overhead, possibly evaluating the isalnds, but they haven't yet dispersed for nesting. Most resident birds are either already nesting or preparing to nest. Some good weather would help immensely!

27th March 2014
Have received the annual (2013) mammal report for D&G from Andy Riches, the area mammal recorder. You can view it by clicking here. It is in PDF format so Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view it. Please allow time for it to load as it is quite a large file.

15th March 2014
Despite the apparent absence of frogs in John's pond, a considerable amount of spawn appeared overnight from Wednesday/Thursday. Around 30 frogs appeared briefly on Friday evening but no more spawn evident so far. Andy Dickson reported lots of frogs on the road on his way in to the club meeting on Friday evening. Some frog activity and spawn on the Reserve ponds today.
Little new on the bird situation, a few more sightings of Blackcap and first sighting of Wheatear so our summer migrants are on the way. Expect to see Sandmartins any day now. Garry reports that Ravens are already sitting on eggs. Animals are also becoming more active, quite a few Badgers seen around Ballplay Road lately.

11th March 2014
John had a male Blackcap in the garden yesterday. Apparently one has been seen by Ann Murray in her garden on Well Road over the past week or so, possibly the same bird.
Dave Bradshaw saw two Hedgehogs feeding below his bird feeder on Sunday morning so they are coming out of hibernation.
There are also a few sightings of Bumblebees on the go so the fine days are bringing them out now.
Still very little frog activity at John's pond - only 3 or 4 seen so far.

9th March 2014
From Jean Hunter-Grant, Hoppertitty, Beattock on Friday 7th - First appearance of frogspawn this morning in both ponds in the garden and lots of frog activity. Last year it was the beginning of April.
(No sign of frog activity yet down at the reserve or in John's pond - shouldn't be long now)

1st March 2014
Jock Dicerbo, our President ever since the Wildlife Club started in 1961, reached his 80th Birthday two weeks ago (15th Feb). By way of a celebration, the committee laid on a small get-together that night. We presented him with a carving by Peter Bowsher depicting a Gannet, much to his delight. There were numerous photos taken and these have now become available so here is a very small selection of them. It was unfortunate that not all committee members were able to attend as, by all accounts, it was a very enjoyable evening.

20th February 2014
Another update - last Sunday/Monday, Jean Hunter-Grant while walking her dog Nell, spotted nine Grey Herons alight from a small pond between Milton Farm and Murthat. Also in the area was a small roost of 26 Starling using a fir tree to roost in. This morning, 20th February, Garry Tait was at the Community Reserve and there were 30 Oystercatchers, with a dozen or so using the floating rafts, and 6 Lapwing in the area which was good to see.
John noted today Song Thrushes singing away heartily, one on the trees bordering Merkland & Greenwood Close, another on the trees beside Mill Green on Well Road.

19th February 2014
There are signs that birds are starting to pair off, a Woodpecker was heard drumming at Dyke Farm today and a number of Oystercatchers were heard calling over the town tonight. All signs that spring just might be on its way - or is that wishful thinking?
Our Reserve Development page has been updated with a summary of recent work.

18th February 2014
As most of you will be aware, this has been a very quiet winter season for bird sightings. Here is a summary from Iain on what little has been reported to him so far this year -
Since the start of 2014 there have been a number of people reporting very small numbers of Bramblings visiting their gardens. On 6th January, Scott Little had 5 Lesser Redpoll in his garden at Beattock. A fortnight later Scott saw two Oystercatchers down the APR Road and Garry saw one passing over Moffat on the 28th. Garry reported a number of Red Kite sightings between Moffat and Lockerbie. Clive Ottowell had two good sightings of a Green Sandpiper and a Water Rail at Lochbrow on the River Annan near Johnstonebridge. At the Reserve on the 29th two Raven flew over while a Kestrel has been wintering in the area. On 1st February Grace Saunders from Beattock reported a Brambling in her garden and on the 7th Garry had a flock of 17 Brambling near The Yett farm at Johnstonebridge. At the Community Reserve two or three Oystercatchers have been using the floating rafts while small numbers of waterfowl can be seen at times including Mute Swans, Goosander, Cormorant and Tufted Ducks.

4th February 2014
Andy Riches has sent the annual reports for Castle & Hightae Lochs for 2013. These have been posted and you can view them here. They are all in PDF format so Adobe Acrobat Reader is required.
Castle & Hightae Loch LNR Report 2013
Monthly Maxima Castle Loch
Annual Maxima Castle Loch
Andy is asking for any last records to go into the 2013 D&G County Mammal Report. If you have any records that you want included that have not already been sent to him then now is the time! Reports of all mammals, from mice to stags, are welcomed - they all go to making up the full picture. You can email reports to dgmammals@aol.com

Also John has now posted his graphs for bird sightings in Greenwood Close for the five years of 2009 through to 2013 and has expanded it a little from previous years. This is also in PDF format.
Greenwood Close Birds

The long spell of wet weather has hampered work down at the reserve lately. However, numerous nestboxes have been refurbished and put up, along with a number of brand new ones. We have also made a start gravelling one of the islands but this will be a long job!
On the wildlife front there has been very little to report. Our winter visitors have been conspicuously absent this year although still a few Fieldfare going about.

5th January 2014
The recent spell of atrocious weather has done no serious damage on the reserve. There has been some flooding but, beyond dislodging some pathway logs, has been fairly minor. We have been painstaking in keeping our drainage ditches clear and it looks as if that has made a huge difference.
Recent work (beyond replacing logs!) has been on replacing old nestboxes and adding some new ones. The 'boys' seem to be doing fine without John's help (suffering from a back problem!).
Numerous smallish flocks of geese were seen this morning over Moffat, going in a northerly direction. It is likely that their normal feeding areas are waterlogged and they are seeking new ones. It is a bit early for migration yet.

11th December 2013
Another bird has been added to our lists - a Dipper was seen on the reserve this morning. This is quite unexpected as the habitat is not one that these birds are likely to visit, they prefer fast flowing water..

All the earlier entries for 2013 have been moved to the Archives.